“For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” Psalm 33:4 (NIV)
I read a post from someone on Facebook a few months ago talking about how during an immensely difficult time in her life, if she looks closely enough, there are miracles all around. While what seems in the natural to be another blow/trial/hardship, instead it’s a miracle gifted by God to help her family through their gut-wrenching journey.
I started to think back in my life to areas where circumstances seemed to be just another trial or hardship to endure, but really were miracles in disguise. Thanksgiving weekend 2015 was one such time. Our family enjoys four fun-filled days of laughter, memory making and nonstop energy – leaving everyone worn out by Monday and in need of a vacation from our vacation. This past year I was exhausted before I started… and knew that while I would have fun, I wouldn’t have minded a little slower pace. However, I wasn’t going to be the one to suggest skipping any of the fun, so I mentally prepared myself for the late nights, busy schedule and got ready to enjoy every minute.
Thanksgiving dawned bright… and early! We got up early and left the house to get a deal on a winter coat that was needed. Growth spurts will do that. After arriving home, I busied myself with preparing the turkey, sat down with the family to our traditional Thanksgiving breakfast and then had about 30 minutes before getting ready to head to my parents’ house to see out-of-town family and spend a few hours while my husband finished the turkey and celebrated with his parents. I spent a great time walking and reconnecting with my cousin before sitting down to a delicious meal prepared by my mom and aunt… then after cleaning up the kitchen, we settled into the dining room and Skyped with my sister and her family across the country before getting ready to head home.
On the way home, my daughter looked miserable. She had been quiet all day but I didn’t think much of it. There was a lot of people and lots of conversations happening. She seemed to be part of it, but I soon realized she was sick. After bringing her home and getting some medicine in her, we encouraged her to rest. Friday afternoon had us in the doctor’s office with a diagnosis of strep… and more rest.
There went our plans of baking Christmas cookies all day Friday with my side of the family and dinner and laughter with Bill’s side of the family that evening. While Bill and the boys headed over to spend time catching out with his sister and family who lives out of town, my daughter and I hunkered down for a lazy night. We watched a movie she had been wanting to share with me, spent some time reading and she even felt up to a game marathon… not too sick to beat me, I might add.
While I missed getting to do some of our ordinary traditions and see some family I didn’t get to see again until Christmas, I wouldn’t have traded that time with our daughter for anything. What could have been viewed as another trial in our life of 2015, I instead saw as a blessing from God. He forced us to slow down, relax, and just be together, something that I don’t ever want to take for granted.
While we have memories stored up of many years of Christmas cookie baking, family gatherings and laughter all around, this is one Thanksgiving that I think will stand out in my mind… not because she was sick but because God blessed me with a miracle in disguise. A chance to make my daughter feel as special as she is and to slow down enough to just be together. No agenda. No schedule. Just “be.”
© Cheri Swalwell 2015